woman shaking hand with robot
New robots are utilizing AI like ChatGPT to be more dynamic senior living companions. (Credit: wonry/Getty Images Plus)

In long-term care settings, artificial intelligence applications such as ChatGPT and physical robots have been introduced separately. 

At least one new robot model, however, merges both technologies in a way designed to help create a more dynamic companion for residents. 

The robot Abi, created by a startup Andromeda Robotics in Sydney, Australia, uses ChatGPT and possesses various capabilities, including telling jokes, blowing bubbles and leading tai chi, a new report says.

The latest Abi model is part of a trial study with 40 long-term care communities in Australia, which is also facing a nationwide staffing shortage.

The most novel capability of Abi appears to be its ability to personalize interactions with residents, remembering their names and past conversations, the company said. 

“I like to refer to her as an artificial friend,” Andromeda co-founder Grace Brown said of Abi in a recent video interview. 

Abi’s creators hope to add new trial programs for the robot within both senior living and care communities and children’s hospitals next year, Andromeda executives said.

Abi’s model, which was designed with input from animation studios advisers, is more humanoid than some other models on the market. 

In comparison, the desk-mounted robot ElliQ, which has become available throughout the United States, is designed to facilitate social interaction within senior living and care communities and aims to facilitate social interaction there without replacing human caregivers or companions, ElliQ’s developers told the McKnight’s Tech Daily over the summer.

Other robots in long-term care facilities are being adopted for more practical or clinical purposes, such as lifting residents in and of bed. Another option for providers to help offer socializing tech for residents is “virtual” companions, which either appear on screens or as part of augmented reality, experts recently have suggested.